Review: Clown Fatale #1

I love Dark Horse as a publisher, but I was surprised to see that they would be willing to publish this miniseries. If it wasn’t one offensive female stereotype it was another. Actually, it was four. Clown Fatale #1 by Victor Gischler and Maurizio Rosenweig was hard to get through. And a $3.99 price tag? I could maybe see this series being successful as a “Digital First” release on Comixology for .99 cents, but I don’t think that any self-respecting comic book reader will pay that kind of cash for this. The plot is based on the four women on the cover. Chloe Tucker is a theater arts major who had to stoop to working as a clown because of her inability to land an acting gig during the recession. Candy used to be a hooker and thinks that she made the right choice in leaving that life behind. Tina left town to escape an abusive relationship. And then there is Aya. Apparently she has no backstory. I think that the lone mysterious character thing died out a long time ago. Especially when I’m pretty sure that the mystery of this character will never be addressed.

Clown Fatale #1 CoverAnyway, they all hate their lives and have no other choice but to go where the circus takes them, due to the lack of choices that are available. But to get to the point, they’re offered a way out of this life and they take it. I don’t blame them. That part works, kind of. But without spoiling too much, they end up being given an opportunity to knock off this drug dealer (who is actually their drug dealer) so all of a sudden they’re a team of older versions of Hit Girl with no training and bad dialogue? I guess that could attract some people. I guess I’m a purist. Also, there is almost a rape scene. That’s a big negative for me.

Victor Gischler’s writing isn’t terrible, but I wish that it was being utilized in a less offensive story. I can’t imagine what the attraction was to the cheesy dialogue and gratuitous nudity throughout.

Maurizio Rosenweig’s art is the best thing about this issue. I was actually really impressed with several of the panels. The layouts are good and the layering is clean. I guess that you could use the word “gritty”, but only if you meant it in a way that referred to the overall feel of the issue. So basically, he created a gritty feel, but the art wasn’t necessarily gritty.

Overall, I don’t recommend this issue to anyone. But more specifically, don’t waste your money. I’m sure that you could get the same satisfaction that this kind of comic offers on the internet for free. However, it is a miniseries. This could come together in a way that makes it not appear to be as much of a waste of time. Who knows? Not me, I won’t be sticking around. I really feel like if these two guys would have teamed up on another book where the story was actually good, it could really be something. Unfortunately that is not the case at this point. I guess that my biggest problem with this issue is just that I was offended. I’ve never met women like this (but I do realize that this is fiction) and I can’t imagine a woman being okay with the fact that this kind of material exists. I love women in comics. The industry wouldn’t be what it is today without them. Publishers have taken great steps in keeping female characters relevant, but this is just a step in the wrong direction.

Score 2/5

Writer: Victor Gischler Artist: Maurizio Rosenzweig Publisher: Dark Horse Comics Price: $3.99 Release Date: 11/6/13

Editor's Note: For another opinion on this issue check out this week's episode of the podcast CBMFP